September 2010
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Month September 2010

Zeiss 35mm f2 ZE

The Zeiss 35mm f2 ZE is a fantastic lens. Granted, I’ve only been using one for about a week, but I’m already becoming familiar with — and appreciative of — the distinctive way it draws the world. The most obvious difference between this lens and other lenses? The transition into and out of the depth of field is incredibly smooth. It is almost completely free of distracting artifacts.

The other characteristics of the lens are as one would expect. The lens body is well constructed. The focusing action is precise and polished. The weight and size feel right. I recommend it without reservation.

(I blame the Alternative Gear & Lenses forum at FredMiranda.com for this particular acquisition. Be careful. That forum is an enticement to bankruptcy.)

How Ancient the Question

I Have This Breath and I Hold It Tight

Little Wonder

In this image, a diminutive jumping spider (member of the family Salticidae — possible member of subfamily Dendryphantinae) explores the territory of a counter in my apartment.

These are curious little beasties — and highly evolved. They possess both book lungs and tracheal organs for breathing. They may navigate almost any terrain — including glass — due to the tiny hairs on the ends of their legs. Their median eyes are large and capable of great sensitivity across a wide spectrum.

The Wikipedia entry on Salticidae notes — without citation — that they are also inquisitive creatures. This appears to be accurate. They behave quite differently than other spiders. They pause to study new phenomena rather than simply lighting the (hemolymph) afterburners and running for cover.

(If you meet one, give it a pass, would you? They’re just slightly larger than the tip of a sharpened pencil and thus only of danger to insects.)

Look Into My Eye Spots

I encountered this (female?) European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) at the edge of the driveway just after cutting back some ground cover. The little black spots in their eyes — which appear to be tiny pupils to an observer — are not ‘eye spots’ in the usual meaning of the term. They actually result from the structure of the eye itself.

Night’s Beautiful Daughter, You

These Geometries of Position